Toro Rosso have announced that they have released Carlos Sainz earlier than planned, allowing him to join the Renault team earlier than planned.
Following the announcement that Jolyon Palmer will leave the team following the Japanese Grand Prix, Toro Rosso have revealed that Sainz has been allowed to join Renault after the race in Suzuka.
A the Singapore Grand Prix, it was announced that Palmer would be replaced at Renault by Sainz – who is ‘on loan’ from the Red Bull driver programme – for the 2018 season, with the Spanish driver partnering Nico Hulkenberg.
It was suggested that Palmer could make way for Sainz as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix, but Palmer remained adamant that he would see out the season at the French team.
However the early switch has now been confirmed, with Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost applauding Sainz’s performances during his time with the team:
“I would like to thank Carlos for all his efforts over almost three Formula 1 seasons,” said Tost.
“He always did his very best, demonstrating an excellent attitude and commitment to his work, which helped him and us to get some great results during that time.
“Therefore, on behalf of everyone at Toro Rosso, I wish him all the very best with his new team. We look forward to beating him on track!”
Sainz added that an early switch to Renault would be ideal to acclimatise to his new surroundings ahead of his 2018 switch:
“First of all I would like to thank Toro Rosso and Red Bull for allowing me the possibility of finishing this season with Renault Sport Racing. More specifically, I really want to thank all my engineers and mechanics for their support and tremendous work throughout these years.
“Toro Rosso is made up of a fantastic group of people and I wish them only the best for the future. On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow’s race… this would be the best possible send-off!
“Additionally, competing in these last four races with Renault gives me a good opportunity to get to know the team and the car earlier than expected. I am looking forward to start working with them.”
This means that Daniil Kvyat will return to the Toro Rosso team – having been rested for Malaysia – alongside Pierre Gasly for the US Grand Prix.